Historically, affiliate marketing has always been measured on ROI and was very revenue focused, however, over the years, this focus has changed and developed.
Discount sites and cashback used to rule the roost, but, over the last several years that has drastically changed, with brands moving away from discounts and using the channel more creatively to meet other business objectives, with the travel sector being no exception.
Intrepid Travel, an adventure travel client here at Silverbean, utilise the affiliate channel to meet numerous objectives. The key focus remains increasing sales and revenue, but to also engage further with the travel niche and content-based affiliates. This allows Intrepid to engage with new customers, as their existing customer base are already generally loyal to the brand due to the high quality of their trips.
Typically, content affiliates fall earlier in the customer user journey, and this is often where potential customers are introduced to a brand, and where brands can ensure they achieve long-term results.
Utilising content affiliates is particularly important within the travel sector, given the research that people undertake in the lead-up to booking and the power of informed word-of-mouth. Working with these types of affiliates will help uplift your overall travel affiliate campaign performance. You need to keep in mind that you may not see sales directly from these affiliates, but they are a source of new customer acquisition and you will see more conversions by your incentive-based affiliates.
Lead generation is another possibility via the affiliate channel, with many affiliates open to running competitions and sharing any data gathered for future marketing purposes. There is also the array of email affiliates that can be used to target potential customers, using segmented databases that fit your customer demographic. Again, with travel having such a long lead time, this is an excellent idea to be able to market directly to people you know are interested in what you have to offer.